Crevice Weaver Spider: Essentials for Enthusiasts

Crevice Weaver Spiders are a fascinating species you might encounter in various environments. They are known for their unique web designs, with webs usually found in holes or cracks of exterior walls. These spiders play an essential role in controlling insect populations, making them beneficial for ecosystem balance.

One noteworthy characteristic of Crevice Weaver Spiders is their adaptability to different locations. You can often find them in areas with vegetation in contact with building foundations. For people who want to encourage the presence of these helpful arachnids, steps such as clearing away vegetation near the structure and sealing cracks can create a welcoming habitat.

Some pros and cons of having Crevice Weaver Spiders around:

Pros:

  • Natural pest control
  • Eco-friendly alternative to chemical insecticides

Cons:

  • Aesthetically unappealing to some
  • Potential discomfort for those with arachnophobia

What is a Crevice Weaver Spider?

Filistatidae Family

Crevice Weaver Spiders belong to the Filistatidae family. They are typically found in:

  • Human-populated areas
  • Close to building foundations
  • Holes or cracks in exterior walls

The Filistatidae family is known for their unique flat, tangled webs1.

Genera and Species

One of the most common species in this family is the Kukulcania hibernalis2, also known as the Southern House Spider. This spider can be found throughout Florida and much of the southern United States2.

Key features of Crevice Weaver Spiders include:

  • Distinctive flat, tangled webs
  • Preference for crevices and holes
  • Typically found in human-populated areas

A comparison between Filistatidae spiders and another common spider family, Agelenidae:

Filistatidae (Crevice Weaver) Agelenidae (Funnel Weaver)
Web Flat, tangled Funnel-shaped
Habitat Crevice, holes, human-populated areas Gardens, grassy areas
Size Varies Varies

Physical Characteristics

Color and Size

The Crevice Weaver Spider is typically small in size, about a quarter of an inch in length. Their body color varies as they can be:

  • Yellow
  • White
  • Greenish

Upper body and legs of the Crevice Weaver Spider tend to be darker than their abdomen.

Eyes

Having eight eyes is a common trait among spiders, and the Crevice Weaver Spider is no exception. Their eyes are arranged in two parallel rows, allowing them to have a wide field of vision.

Dorsal Carapace

The carapace or cephalothorax of the Crevice Weaver Spider is quite interesting. It features:

  • Dark longitudinal lines
  • Sculptured appearance with furrows and ridges

Sexual Dimorphism

There is noticeable sexual dimorphism in Crevice Weaver Spiders, including:

  • Males being smaller than females
  • Males having more distinct colorations and markings
Feature Males Females
Size Smaller Larger
Colorations and Markings More distinct Less distinct

Habitat and Distribution

Natural Habitats

Crevice Weaver Spiders are commonly found in various habitats across the world. They often inhabit cracks and crevices, which provide them with shelter and protection. These spiders can be found in countries like:

  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • America
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Sudan
  • Namibia

Generally, crevice weavers thrive in areas with plenty of walls and overhangs for them to build their webs.

Man-Made Structures

In addition to natural habitats, crevice weaver spiders frequently occupy man-made structures such as:

  • Homes
  • Masonry of buildings
  • Man-made overhangs

These spiders prefer dwelling in the cracks and crevices of walls and other structures, where they can construct intricate webs to catch their prey. Examples of common locations within homes include:

  • Window sills
  • Door frames
  • Corners of rooms

Pros of having crevice weaver spiders in man-made structures:

  • They help control insect populations

Cons of having crevice weaver spiders in man-made structures:

  • Some people find them unpleasant or fear their presence

Behavior and Lifestyle

Feeding and Prey

Crevice weaver spiders primarily feed on insects, including various flies, moths, and mosquitoes. These nocturnal hunters wait patiently in their webs and attack when their prey lands or gets trapped.

Webs for Entangling Prey

Crevice weavers are known for their specialized webs, which they build in cracks and crevices. These webs have a unique design that is highly effective for entangling prey:

  • Sticky spiral silk for trapping victims
  • Sturdy structure that holds up in adverse weather conditions
  • Dense layers that make it difficult for prey to escape

Reproduction

These spiders reproduce by laying egg sacs near their webs. For example, the southern house spider’s egg sacs are deposited in crevices or wall corners, ensuring a safe location for the developing spiderlings.

Longevity

Crevice weaver spiders are known to have relatively long lifespans. Some species, like the southern house spider, can live up to eight years in ideal conditions.

Feature Crevice Weaver Spider Comparison Spider
Primary Food Source Insects Insects
Web Type Specialized Typical orb
Lifespan Up to eight years 1-2 years
Reproduction Method Egg sacs Egg sacs
  • Pros: Efficient hunters, long lifespan, unique webs for capturing prey
  • Cons: Less common, may be mistaken for harmful spiders, found in less-visible spots

Interaction with Humans

Presence in Homes

Crevice Weaver Spiders, like Anton Ausserer described, prefer dark and secluded areas. They can be found around:

  • Window and door screens
  • Shutters
  • Firewood piles

Keep these spaces clean to discourage their presence.

Crevice Weavers and Pests

These spiders help in controlling pest populations, as they feed on other insects like:

  • Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Beetles

Appreciate their pest-controlling abilities instead of viewing them as a threat.

Bite and Venom

Comparing Crevice Weavers to other spiders like Brown Recluse:

Spider Venom Potency Level of Danger
Crevice Weaver Low Minimal
Brown Recluse High Dangerous

Crevice Weaver bites:

  • Rarely occur
  • Mild pain and itching (in some cases)

Unlike Recluse spiders, Crevice Weavers don’t have dangerous venom. However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid direct contact.

Interesting Facts

Relation to Tarantulas

Kukulcania hibernalis, a crevice weaver spider, belongs to the Araneae order within the Haplogynae infraorder. Surprisingly, these spiders are not closely related to tarantulas. However, they do share some similarities with their larger and hairier counterparts, such as:

  • Both belong to the Araneae order of arthropods
  • Both have eight legs and two main body sections

Nevertheless, their differences outweigh their similarities, making their relationship rather distant.

Meso-American God

The name Kukulcania is derived from the Meso-American god Kukulkan, which highlights the spider’s cultural significance. Kukulkan was a revered deity in the ancient Mayan civilization and was often depicted as a feathered serpent. Although the crevice weaver spider is not depicted as a direct symbol of Kukulkan, its name pays homage to the mythology of the region.

Pedipalps Usage

Crevice weaver spiders, like other araneae, utilize their pedipalps for various purposes. These specialized appendages located near the mouth aid in a variety of functions, such as:

  • Sensing the environment
  • Manipulating food during feeding
  • Courting and mating rituals

For example, male crevice weaver spiders use their pedipalps to transfer sperm to the female during mating. This process is essential for reproduction and ensures the survival of their species.

Comparison Table: Crevice Weaver Spider vs. Brown Recluse Spider

Feature Crevice Weaver Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)
Size Medium-sized (1/2 to 3/4 inch in length) Medium-sized (1/4 to 3/4 inch in length)
Habitat Found in crevices and human-populated areas Found in dark, secluded places
Bite Rarely bites; not medically significant Venomous; bites may cause swelling
Family Filistatidae Sicariidae

Footnotes

  1. Southern House Spider – Kukulcania hibernalis Hentz

  2. Crevice Weaving Spiders – School IPM – USU Extension | USU 2

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Female Southern House Spider from Guatemala

 

Subject:  Guatemalan Fellow
Geographic location of the bug:  Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Your letter to the bugman:  Greetings Bugman!
In 2016 my husband and I took a vacation in the breathtakingly beautiful Central American country of Guatemala. This was during the rainy season, approximately mid May.
We stayed at a hotel in the provincial area of Panajachel, right on Lago De Atitlan. The hotel itself was spectacular, with many open areas and semi-outdoor corridors.
One day I stumbled upon this handsome fellow hanging out about 2.5 feet up a stucco wall.
Any idea what he is? I hope he’s a juvenile tarantula, but we were a good distance away from Tikal (where most tarantula’s are found in the country), and I don’t suspect there are many arboreal species of tarantula in Guatemala anyway (and I assume this would be an arboreal fellow, hanging out on a wall.)
Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Liz

Female Southern House Spider

Dear Liz,
This looks to us like a female Southern House Spider,
Kukulcania hibernalis.  According to BugGuide:  “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds ‘messy’ webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”  According to SpiderID:  “Kukulcania hibernalis (Southern House Spider) has been sighted in the following countries: Argentina, United States.  Kukulcania hibernalis has also been sighted in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.”  Spiders tend to ignore international borders, so we suspect if they are found in the U.S. and Argentina, they are likely occurring in some countries between them as well.  We would not discount that this might be a related species in the genus.  According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “The synanthropic Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) is found in the southeastern United States (Bradley 2013), but is also widespread in South America (Brescovit and Santos 2013).”

Hi Daniel,
Very good! Thank you so much for solving this two-year-long mystery. 🙂
Liz

Letter 2 – Probably NOT Female Southern House Spider

 

Subject: Fuzzy large black spider, New Mexico
Location: Rio rancho, NM
April 18, 2017 9:32 pm
I have several of these around my home and I just want to know what kind of spiders they are. I cannot find anything online and I refuse to spray. I just need to know if they are poisonous.
Signature: Rainah

Unknown Spider

Dear Rainah,
Your images were quite dark, but we used some post-production image adjustment to lighten them enough to support our suspicion that this Crevice Weavers Spider is most likely a female Southern House Spider,
Kulcania hibernalis, based on images posted to BugGuide.  This species exhibits extreme sexual dimorphism, meaning the two sexes look like different species.  According to BugGuide:  “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds “messy” webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”  Though BugGuide data does not indicate any New Mexico sightings, they are found in nearby Texas and as far west as California, so a New Mexico sighting is quite probable.  This might also be the closely related Kukulcania arizonica, which is pictured on BugGuide and which is reported from New Mexico.  Of the entire genus, BugGuide states:  “These spiders create a tube-like retreat in cracks. This spider varies greatly in color from light brown to dark black. Females are generally grey to black while the males are tan.”  While we suspect a bite might occur through careless handling or accidental encounters, the House Spiders are not a threat to humans and they might help control other less desirable household intruders like cockroaches and scorpions.

Unknown Spider

Ed. Note:  April 26, 2017
A comment from Cesar Crash has caused us to back off what we thought was an identification.  We are now unsure of the family classification.  There is a resemblance to the Common House Spider from the UK, and a search of the genus
Tegenaria on BugGuide turned up some interesting information, especially regarding an unpictured species “T. chiricahuae – caves in southeastern Arizona and New Mexico (our only native Tegenaria).”  Needless to say, we are classifying this as a Spider at this time until we feel more confident regarding a family designation.

Letter 3 – Female Southern House Spider

 

Subject: Las Vegas Black Hairy Spider
Location: Henderson NV, Las Vegas suburb
July 4, 2014 12:48 pm
I love your site. I looked at your spiders for a few days but although I found the trap door spider to be close, the rear body tank is not the same shape as my unknown spider. I never saw this 2-inch spider before. It was found on the wall of my garage, in June, 110 F weather day. I captured it, took the photo then released it in some rocks at a nearby park. You can zoom in my photo to see the eyes and hair. Thank you.
Signature: Boyd in Las Vegas

Female Southern House Spider
Female Southern House Spider

Dear Boyd,
Unfortunately, you cannot really make out the eye arrangement of this spider in your image.  This is a female Southern House Spider,
Kukulcania hibernalis, and according to BugGuide:  “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds “messy” webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”

Thanks, Dan.     Now when I walk by the park, I will say hello to her.    I never feared her but just wanted to get her farther away from human danger.
Boyd

Hi again Boyd,
Because of your sensitivity toward the natural world, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Letter 4 – Crevice Weaving Spider

 

big black hairy spider
i live in the desert by palm springs and found this huge spider it was at the bottom of a cup .looks like a small tarantula to me .all black with grey body hairy and fangs big fangs .It chases my finger. please help me thank you
TANYA

Hi Tanya,
We sought out Eric Eaton for advice. Here is what he believes: “Pretty sure this spider is a Filistatid, family Filistatidae, probably Kukulcania. There are some nice images on bugguide you can compare to. I can’t see images on my WebTV that well, actually. Eric ” These are commonly called Crevice Weaving Spiders.

Letter 5 – Female Crevice Weaver Spider

 

Big spider on my door
October 15, 2009
We came home and we went “Eaahh!” There was a huge (2″?) spider on our front door. After some fiddling with our camera we managed to get a couple of half-decent photos of it. We thought it might be the California Trapdoor Spider that some others have met recently, but it’s body isn’t shiny and black and doesn’t quite look the same.
The Gandolfo Family
Hills outside Santa Rosa, Northern California

Crevice Weaver Spider
Crevice Weaver Spider

Dear Gandolfo Family
As much as we would have loved this to be a female California Trapdoor Spider, we believe it is a female Crevice Weaver Spider in the genus Kukulcania.  We found some closely matching images on BugGuide.  One of the postings on BugGuide indicates that individuals in this genus may live for 10 years.  Males are sometimes mistaken for Brown Recluse Spiders.  BugGuide has additional information.  We also are providing a link to images of the female California Trapdoor Spider, though they rarely leave their burrows.

Crevice Weaver Spider
Crevice Weaver Spider

Letter 6 – Crevice Weaver Spider

 

Brown Recluse?
March 29, 2010
We found this spider in Cleveland, Texas this past February while cleaning out a neglected bookshelf. It was between the books in a rather disorderly looking web. The house it was found in is in a wooded area. We’ve been keeping it in a container with wound wire for observation since, and it has established an intricate, cob-webby web between the wires and is living on a steady diet of mosquito hawks and silverfish. We’ve done a lot of image searching for an identity, but the closest we can find is that it’s a brown recluse. However, it lacks a distinct violin marking (although a dark line similar to the violin neck runs down the cephalothorax), the pedipalps are much more defined and less tufty, and the legs seem to be less spindly. We haven’t been able to get a coun t on the eyes, as they’re a bit hard to see. We’ve noticed some small indentions in pairs on the dorsal side of the abdomen, no idea what those are. If its behavior is of any help, we’ve noticed that it cuts its finished prey from its web to let it fall (although perhaps that’s common in spiders). Any help would be much appreciated! Also, if you happen to know, we’d love to know what those indentions are (pictured in photo 3)! Thanks very much.
Laura and Michael
Cleveland, Texas

Crevice Weaver Spider

Dear Laura and Michael,
You may rest assured that this is not a Brown Recluse.  It is a Crevice Weaver Spider in the genus Kukulcania, and it is well represented on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “These spiders create a tube-like retreat in cracks.   This spider varies greatly in color from light brown to dark black. Females are generally grey to black while the males are tan. Males look very similar to the Recluse spiders, except they have much longer pedipalps, eight eyes (not six as in the Recluse family), and very long front legs.
”  It is our opinion that your specimen is a female.

Crevice Weaver Spider

Letter 7 – Crevice Weaver Spider

 

should we be concerned?
Location: found in my pourch light of my home in myrtle beach south carolina
April 11, 2012 1:05 am
Hello i noticed movement inside the light fixture on my front porch when investigating i found this lil guy not sure if it is native to where i live which is myrtle beach SC also not sure if i should be worried of how dangerous it could be i did not have the heart to kill it so i took it for a walk across the st from my house and set it free in a tree it is about thr size of a half dollar black and gray in color inside the light fixture was also a web a bunch of little dead bugs and even what looked like the dead carcus of another spider please help me identify this spider and everything about it thanks
Signature: Eric

Crevice Weaver Spider

Dear Eric,
Despite its frightening appearance, you don’t need to be concerned.  This is a female Crevice Weaver Spider,
Kukulcania hibernalis, which we identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds “messy” webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”

Crevice Weaver Spider

Letter 8 – Crevice Weaver Spider

 

Subject: Spider
Location: Las Vegas, NV
January 19, 2016 7:42 pm
Just want to know what kind of spider is this and other information. It showed up at my work.
Signature: J. Bressler

Crevice Weaver Spider
Crevice Weaver Spider

Dear J. Bressler,
We believe this is a Crevice Weaver Spider in the genus
Kukulcania, and a member of the genus found further east is known as the Southern House Spider.  You can compare your image to this BugGuide image and to Southern House Spiders on Spiderz Rule.

Letter 9 – Female Crevice Weaver Spider

 

Subject: Spider at my work
Location: Belle chasse louisiana
October 10, 2012 9:28 pm
I found this little guy amongst 100s of others the same size and bigger at my work. They are under an overhang shelter to an old bombshell bunker that i had to hose the nest and webs off from hanging. Theres plenty of lights that constantly stay on under there. And these critters are couped up in small round tunnel webs and balls of a messy webbing. Im wondering what they are and if they are poisonous. They are pretty big up to 2 1/2 inches including the leg length.
Signature: Keith64

Female Crevice Weaver Spider

Hi Keith64,
This is a female Crevice Weaver Spider,
Kukulcania hibernalis, and you can compare your photo to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds ‘messy’ webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”  Eric Eaton has an excellent blog posting on Crevice Weaver Spiders on Bug Eric.

Letter 10 – Female Southern House Spider

 

Subject: Southern House Spider?
Location: Richmond, VA
December 17, 2013 10:22 pm
I found this little friend behind my couch while looking for something. She appears to be a southern house spider.
What are they like — temperament, environment, bite, etc?
I have her in a jar. I might find a more semi-permanent solution for her later (a container I used to house a baby terrestrial tarantula who outgrew it). I don’t want her to go back to her home behind my couch (I found her webs as well as evidence of past feasts she made of escaped tarantula food — I think we’ve been “roomies” for some time, and I’ve found young males inside before as well) because I don’t want her to get squished or for her to end up in a situation where she might feel the need to bite — or to get eaten by my dog. However I don’t want to throw her outside because it’s very cold right now (I realize she is a native wild animal, but I don’t know what her species does to combat the cold, if anything special — I don’t want to just throw her out into the cold unprepared). I was thinking I could feed her for a few months and release her in an abandoned barn on a local plantation this spring.
Can you give me any general information on these guys, and confirm that she is what I think she is? Thanks!
Signature: Denise Elliott

Female Southern House Spider
Female Southern House Spider

Hi Denise,
We concur with your identification of this female Southern House Spider which looks exactly like this individual posted to BugGuide.  There is not much information on the Southern House Spider on the BugGuide info page, except for this comment: “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds “messy” webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”  So, she is totally harmless, but that does discount that a large individual might bite if carelessly handled.  We will turn elsewhere to seek additional information.  According to Featured Creatures:  “Females may live up to eight years” which means you might want to entertain the idea of keeping her as a pet as long as you have tarantula rearing experience.  While Spiders.us does not have any information on the bite, there is a photo of a large female being held.  Some of the best firsthand information we found is on a BugGuide posting by Mamata Polle who writes:  “These make suprisingly good house guests if you can tolerate their highly effective, (Though not very pretty,) web making style. Females tend to stay put until either they grow out of their retreat, they are starving to death, or their web is destroyed. For the past 13 years I’ve been living with this type of spider and have never been bitten by one, they are docile and very good at snaring flies, roaches and other household invaders. Usually when I see their webs I just leave them be, but one of our cats has recently decided he likes to eat spider webs… (Weird huh,) and that is how I ended up with Kholi, (Pictured above.) She was wandering around looking to rebuild her web where it had been, (And said cat would have come back to eat it again!) so I decided to capture and provide a home for her. She produces webbing as needed and without hesitation, which is good because she won’t eat without it! Southern House Spiders totally depend on their webs to catch food; their eyesight is poor, so they seem to, “Feel” their prey when it gets stuck and squirms, then they pounce. It is VERY dificult to get them to eat from a pair of tweezers, one must be very… patient. However they will take water very easily when they’re dehydrated, even off your finger. The first time I had one do this I thought it was biting me, but it wasn’t, it was just sucking the water out of my damp hands, which didn’t hurt. One of the best ways to distiguish this species other than their general appearence is the very fine silver hair they possess, which is most visible at the joints.  BTW: They will sometimes very convincingly play dead when threatened…:P And if they don’t mate, they can live an incredibly long time. (I have been watching one adult female for three years!)  Be Well, God Bless and Thanks for Reading. :)”
Regardless if decide to keep her as a pet or to release her back into a plantation barn in the spring, because of your sensitivity regarding the welfare of this female Southern House Spider, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Letter 11 – Male Crevice Weaver

 

Spider – kukulcania, southern house spider?
Hi WTB,
We saw this spider on the side of our apartment in Las Vegas, NV. We’re not entirely sure what it is, but the best we can identify is the perhaps Kukulcania hibernalis (or loxosceles, but we hope not!) You can see in the picture that it has big black hairs on the legs, and the legs start out as a beige/yellow and end with a darker brown/black at the “feet.” We couldn’t exactly identify a “violin” on the back, but we didn’t have much for a frame of reference; however, the kukulcania seems to have the squarish abdomen, while the recluse seems to have a larger, bulbous abdomen. We also didn’t observe the double row on 3 eyes that the recluse is said to have. Overall, the spider’s diameter including its legs and feet were about the size of soda can. We were about to give up and call this a violin spider/recluse, but then saw on page 9 of the Spiders the conversation about the kukulcania, and are happier with that identification in regards to correctness and the related degree of danger! We hope this picture will be a good addition to your pages, and thanks so much for having a great website to research through! Best wishes,
Trish M., Las Vegas NV

Hi Trish,
We disagree with both of your suggestions, but are unsure ourselves. We are thinking perhaps one of the Tengellid Spiders in the family Tengellidae based on images we found on BugGuide. Wikipedia has some information. We will try to get Eric Eaton’s opinion. If we are correct, this is a new family for What’s That Bug?

Correction: We Were Wrong and Trish was right!!!
Daniel: No, but if I hadn’t seen the thing before, I would have absolutely no idea where to begin! The image is of a male “crevice weaver” in the genus Kukulcania, family Filistatidae. Many folks mistake them for a brown recluse, which they do resemble at a cursory glance. Females look more like diminutive tarantulas and are darker in color. Crevice weavers are not dangerously venomous to people, but are common inhabitants of homes, usually on the exterior of the house, though.
Eric

Letter 12 – Male Crevice Weaver Spider in Mount Washington

 

Subject:  Large Spider scurries from under the recycle bin!
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
December 13, 2016 11:30 AM
Alas, we did not have a camera handy when we made this exciting sighting of a reddish colored, male Southern House Spider which is reported from Los Angeles according to BugGuide.  We had to take a close look to ensure this was not a Recluse Spider.

Southern House Spider
Southern House Spider (from our archives)

Letter 13 – Male Crevice Weaver Spider, we believe

 

Subject: Recluse or Harmless?
Location: Antelope Valley, California
July 30, 2015 2:50 pm
I found this big guy in my yard, polled my friends, half say it’s a brown recluse, half say it’s harmless… One guy said “it’s just a penny”…
I live in the high desert in Southern California, it’s super dry and hot. Help me out here!
Signature: -Roni

Male Crevice Weaver Spider, we believe
Male Crevice Weaver Spider, we believe

Hi Roni,
We are going to side with the half that say it is harmless.  Brown Recluse Spiders have a violin pattern on the cephalothorax .  Male Crevice Weaver Spiders in the genus
Kukulcania, including the male Southern House Spider, Kukulcania hibernalis, are frequently mistaken for Brown Recluse Spiders.  BugGuide only lists the Southern House Spider as far west as Texas, but a relative, Kukulcania geophila, is found in California and this image from BugGuide looks very similar to your individual.  Of the entire genus Kukulcania, BugGuide notes:  “Males look very similar to the Recluse spiders, except they have much longer pedipalps, eight eyes (not six as in the Recluse family), and very long front legs.”  Finally, according to BugGuide, the Brown Recluse Spider does not get as far west as California.

Letter 14 – Black Spider: Hacklemesh Weaver or Southern House Spider???

 

Subject: Hacklemesh Weaver Spider
Location: Central New York
July 7, 2014 6:53 pm
My mom found this spider in her ice cream churn that she kept in her basement and asked me to identify if it was dangerous or not. I took some pictures of it and released it into a pile of slate outside. From what I can tell, I’m pretty sure it is a female Hacklemesh Weaver Spider. Is my id of it correct and should she worry about them?
Signature: good son

What's That Spider???
What’s That Spider???

Dear good son,
Alas, we aren’t certain.  Your spider does resemble this female Hacklemesh Weaver,
Amaurobius ferox, that is posted to BugGuide, however the BugGuide individual seems to have longer and thinner legs than your individual.  Our first thought was female Southern House Spider, but BugGuide does not report them as far north as New York.  Perhaps one of our readers can assist in this identification.

Letter 15 – Possibly Female Crevice Weaver Spider or Hacklemesh Weaver

 

Subject: What’s this spider
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains California
November 7, 2016 8:51 am
I was out I was out getting silverfish for my blue belly lizards. And underneath one of the two by fours on the deck was this pretty large spider. which I have never seen in my 50 years living here. I like spiders because they eat mosquitoes and other nasy pests. so can you help me identify it?
Signature: Fixitwill

Possibly Female Crevice Weaver Spider
Possibly Female Crevice Weaver Spider

Dear Fixitwill,
Though your image lack critical clarity, we believe this might be a female Crevice Weaver Spider in the genus
Kuculcania.  See BugGuide for some images.

Wow thank you so much for your time!! It was hard to get a good picture because it kept moving around on me.

Letter 16 – Tengellid Spider

 

Subject: What kind of spider is this?
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
November 10, 2014 11:38 am
Hello Bugman. What kind of spider is this? Our guess is a type of Huntsman, but there are so many different types of Huntsman photos online, and none really match well. The purple leg segments are beautiful. There is the tip of a standard chopstick in the photo for scale: The spider is 2 to 2 1/4 inches long. Thank you.
Signature: Doug

Possibly Male Crevice Weaver Spider
Tengellid Spider

Dear Doug,
We do not think this is a Huntsman Spider.  We are not certain, but your spider resembles a male Crevice Weaver in the genus Kukulcania.  See this image from BugGuide for comparison.  At least one member of the genus is found in California.  We are going to seek assistance from Eric Eaton and Mandy Howe on your spider’s identity.

Possibly Male Crevice Weaver Spider
Tengellid Spider

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:
This is something in the family Tengellidae (no common name), maybe in the genus Titiotus.
Eric

Very cool!  Thanks Daniel and please thank Eric for us.  It sure looks like a Titiotus.  It’s wonderful to learn this Genus is native to CA and bite is harmless.  Sorry, we did not get a close-up of features to identify the species.  It is now roaming around our home in places unknown.  I found other Titiotus observations close-by and around CA on iNaturalist Genus Titiotus after getting Eric’s email.  Also see you have a Tengellid post from almost exactly 1 year ago, ironically from Doug, but not me, and near where we have relatives.  Thank you too for the very fast replies.  Most ironically, my last name is Titus!  Oh the web of coincidence.  Cheers, Doug

Update from Mandy Howe
Hi Daniel,
A year has passed since you sent this, so maybe it’s not helpful anymore, sorry! (Better late than never?) We’re working on a redesign of the Spiders.us website and I had also been “absent” for quite a long time so wasn’t checking this email account.
But the spider in the image is a male in the genus Titiotus, which used to be in the family Tengellidae up until earlier this year (I think I remember seeing some other Titiotus on your site before, so you might have some that need to change families now). Everything that was in Tengellidae (and Zorocratidae, actually) is now in the family Zoropsidae. They don’t really have an official common name; but we use “wandering spider” at BugGuide. Just have to be careful that people don’t mistake it for the potentially dangerous “Brazilian wandering spiders” of South America. They look totally different, but the nicknames sound similar so people make assumptions and get freaked out sometimes.
I saw that you sent this to Eric, too; sorry if he already got back to you and this is just rehash.
Hope that helps, and that you’re doing well!
Mandy

Authors

  • Daniel Marlos

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

15 thoughts on “Crevice Weaver Spider: Essentials for Enthusiasts”

  1. you are not the only ones that mistake this spider with a recluse. i have as well & from what i have seen my searching to find out what family of spider this one is from, many others have also. i hate i did not find out sooner, there are so many that i have killed.

    Reply
  2. I know this was posted some months ago, but I too have a spider very much like this, however it has the bulbous boxer glove look in the front, because of this I believe mine is the male version. Anyway from what I been able to find online they do appear to be hacklemesh spiders of some form and they are poisonous but not dangerous to humans. They have a bite that stings like a bee and may cause discomfort, but it won’t kill us.

    Reply
  3. Um. I just want to inform you that brown recluse spiders are infact as far as california. I know this because two of my brothers were biten by brown recluse spiders when I was just a little kid. At that time the Drs had only seen about six cases of this spider bite. Both of my brothers nearly died. And i would also like to add that i dont know the original person posting the picture but i too live in the Antelope Valley. Born in av hospital. And when my brothers were biten we lived in palmdale.

    Reply
  4. Hey Guys, I just found a spider that looks very close to the spider you are trying to identify. I sent in a photo. I live near Rio Rancho, New Mexico. I just sent in the photo, to be identified. I hope this photo, that I took, may help too. Please look for it. Thanks< Peggy Nichols

    Reply
  5. I have these spider’s in my house in northwest Arkansas also. The big mama as I call her has a leg span of about 3 inches & her babies are about quarter size

    Reply
  6. Has anyone positively identified this spider??
    I’m in Florida and we’ve seen one quote quite similar to this one in the house. Twice.
    Thanks for any insight!

    Reply
  7. Also found one. Webbing a large mess. More like a funnel web or nest. Near Death Valley. In Beatty Nevada tool shed. Looks related. We also just brought some things from Arkansas, So a previous comment caught my attention.

    Reply
  8. Hi, I found one that looks very much like this one. As soon as I got it outside, it hid along the bottom brick line and buried itself as quickly as it could in the brick crevice and the pea gravel. I have a lot of small jumping spiders and they are aggressive but this spider, although bigger than jumpers, it was much more interested in being left alone. I am in SC along the GA state border and it is August 2023.

    Reply

Leave a Comment